I love the carefree attitude that accompanies summer. Everything just gets easier. I worry less about bedtimes and having a clean house. And yes, we can have cereal for dinner when it’s too hot to cook. I let go of routines and become more spontaneous in all that I do. It’s a feeling that permeates everything, right down to my beauty routine.
Before you know it, Canadians will be outside in droves, stock-piling as much Vitamin D as they can get. My family is no exception. Just like that first meal on an outdoor patio is the sweetest, so too is the pilgrimage to Canadian Tire for everything we’ll need to enjoy every last second of summer.
When it comes to food, I’m pretty sure that as a society, we’ve gone off the rails. I first started to notice our unhealthy connection with food when my kids started school. It seemed to me that every occasion revolved around junk food. A kid’s birthday meant cupcakes for everyone. When parents bring cupcakes or treats for birthdays, this meant 20 to 30 days in the school year included unhealthy food. Add in Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Easter, pajama day, movie day, and bake sales.
When it comes to homework, I’m a hands-off mama. I already did my time, so I have zero interest in sitting down and doing more with my kids. That’s not to say that I don’t value homework — I do. It’s just that my time is better spent showing my kids how to be self-learners and how to develop homework habits, and not by actually doing their homework.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Panama Papers in the news the last couple of days. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet, you will. The Panama Papers are poised to create some serious problems for the world’s richest and most powerful people. So you don’t get too lost in the wormhole though let me give you the short short version; stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
I’ve been travelling with my children since they were infants, so I’m often asked if there's a perfect age to take a trip with kids. My answer is always, right now. Right now is as perfect as it’s ever going to get, no matter what their age. Travel is one of the best gifts you can give your children and yourself, so don’t delay, start planning now!
When my youngest daughter was four, we noticed she had started to snore. At first, we thought it was cute, but then it started to sound like a freight train roaring through the house at night. Our family doctor immediately sent her for a sleep study. Imagine our surprise when our little waif of a girl was diagnosed with sleep apnea!
My dad likes to tell this funny story from my childhood. It goes a little something like this:
I had really, REALLY wanted the latest and greatest thing-a-ma-bob that all my friends had, and I begged my dad mercilessly to get it for me. Exasperated, he finally gave it to me straight. “Candace,” he said, “I don’t have the money for that right now. I can’t afford it!” Without missing a beat, I responded with: “That’s OK. Just write a cheque.”
Growing up, I looked for girls like me in the media. But there were none. The only thing staring back at me from the pages of magazines were “supermodels.”
Supermodel is a term that was coined in the 1980s—at the height of my teen confidence issues. These seemingly perfect women were everywhere I looked. The message the media was pushing back on me was that I would never measure up. I never would be six-feet tall, have thick flowing hair, or have sculpted cheeks and flawless skin. In other words: I would never be beautiful.
When it comes to my family’s vacation getaways, I feel zero shame when I say that no one deserves it more than I do. Before you declare me selfish, consider the following:
I’m the one who spends countless hours ensuring that everyone has clothes that fit, that bags are packed, that the correct currency is in our wallets, that we all have updated passports and a that a dog-sitter has been arranged.
No wonder moms need a holiday; just getting out the door is exhausting.
Just when you think you’ve figured out how to effectively communicate with your kids, they go and change all the rules on you. And at no time is this more evident than when they hit the teen years. Suddenly grunts become answers and eye rolls are a standard response to any question, no matter how innocuous. So, to combat the "teen wall of silence," we parents need to get creative and talk to our teens when their defenses are down.
Here are five things you can do to open lines of communication with your kids:
I can not believe I am about to write this, but our collective condemnation of the man who killed #CecilTheLion is going off the rails. Before you grab your pitchfork, let me preface this whole thing with these three things I believe to be true:
1) Cecil and all lions are magnificent creatures that deserve our protection. Furthermore, no animal should be hunted for sport or to the point of extinction.
2) Dr. Palmer is a twisted and sad man to derive pleasure from killing any animal.
I grew up within striking distance of Ontario’s best beaches. Grand Bend, The Pinery, and Port Stanley were second homes to me in the summer from tot to teenager. Sand between my toes and wind swept hair were a way of life. It wasn’t until I moved away that I realized I took for granted what was so close.
I love Andrea Nair, I do. She’s the child whisperer and how can you not have a crazy amount of respect for someone who not only talks the talk, but walks it too. I mean hello, the woman just started homeschooling her children ON TOP of everything else she does. I am, simply put, in awe.
I’m the type of person who would rather have a vacation over a diamond any day. My simple mission on earth is this:
Do and see as much as I can in the short time I’m here.
But this philosophy can’t happen without a plan. Summer, of course, is prime save on everyday items, splurge on experiences time for all of us, so in order to make sure my family and I get out and do memorable things, I have a strict save/splurge program in place and I'm going to show you how I do it so you can do it, too!
When I travel, I should carry my laptop and phone tucked inside a steel briefcase, handcuffed to my wrist. After all, I carry an "Ehm"-pire around with me, a responsibility I don't take lightly. I have all things related to YummyMummyClub.ca's inner workings tucked away on my laptop and phone and it STRESSES me out.
In my circle, my house is the "Official House of Summer." Sure, we go to other friends' homes in the fall and winter to mix and mingle, but from June to September, all socialization happens in my backyard. There are three major reasons for this: